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LiveBlogging: Lois A. Wellman, Guest Speaker, CFC

Today, I had the privilege of attending the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFC) 2011 Finale and Awards Program so to liveblog for GovLoop. The event acknowledged the achievements of various government agencies in raising funds for charities.

Lois Wellman, Charity Beneficiary and employee at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, began by noting that she had two children as she started at Department of Veterans Affairs as a GS-4. Her house exploded due to a propane gas leak, and in the most unfortunate circumstances her son, 13 year old Jordan, was inside of the building when it happened. Because of the explosion, he was burned on 58% of his body. After the explosion, he had to be medevaced to a hospital. The hospital he was flown to was a combined federal burn hospital, where he received skin-graft surgeries and was in a medically induced coma lasting for three weeks. The hospital, funded by the CFCNCA, provided care to Jordan at no charge to Lois. After doctors proclaimed that it would be months before her son was able to leave, Jordan was able to go home after a remarkable 51 days.

When Jordan woke up from the coma, he learned that in the explosion he not only suffered physical hardship himself, but he also lost his dog, his house, and his video equipment. The hospital was so kind that they allowed Lois a room right below her sons, so she didn’t have to stay at a hotel miles away, could visit her son anytime, and was given trauma therapy.

After Jordan was ready to leave, hospital workers went to Jordan’s school to speak with the students about what happened to him, including his limitations and the fact that he had to wear garments over most of his burned body. They did this to ensure that Jordan would be treated with respect and empathy by the student body. The hospital, determined to help Jordan as much as they could, continued the skin graft surgeries. Today, Jordan not only looks great, but was able to play football on his high school team. Jordan is now 19 and a freshman in college. At the conclusion of her speech, Lois introduced Jordan, who deservedly received an energetic standing ovation. Lois received an award as a token of the CFC’s appreciation and in honor to her service.

The presentation by Lois demonstrated the importance of giving, and how charity benefited her family, as well as acknowledged her role as a Charity Beneficiary. After Lois finished her speech, Dr. Haller came back on to announce the amount raised by the CFC in 2011. The amount was….

Over $64 million!

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